Friday, March 11, 2011

Wedgwood, Staffordshire, 1786

This bowl was almost certainly made for presentation to John Smale, captain of the 'Lord Stanley', prior to his departure for West Africa on a slaving voyage on 31 March 1786. About 250 Africans from the Cameroons were transported to Barbados on that trip, though almost 50 died during the voyage.

The text on the bowl reads:

'Success to the Lord Stanley

Cap. Smale'


  1. what is the exact text on the base of this bowl to include the wedgwood marks? i do not believe it was made in 1786, nor do i think josiah wedgwood made anything celebrating this voyage being he was a staunch abolishinist.

  2. The image comes from the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, England.


  3. In retrospect, the attitudes of some abolitionists now appear puzzling. Newton made two slave voyages even after being converted by the "amazing grace ... that saved a wretch like me."

    "During the time I was engaged in the slave trade, I never had the least scruple as to its lawfulness. I was, upon the whole, satisfied with it, as the appointment Providence had marked out for me," Newton wrote.

    However, he added, "I was sometimes shocked with an employment that was perpetually conversant with chains, bolts, and shackles."



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